'''Jean de La Fontaine''' (; 8 July 1621 – 13 April 1695) was the most famous French Fable|fabulist
and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his ''La Fontaine's Fables|Fables
'', which provided a model for subsequent fable|fabulists
across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages.
According to Gustave Flaubert|Flaubert
, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language
before Victor Hugo
. A set of postage stamp
s celebrating La Fontaine and the ''Fables'' was issued by France in 1995.